Setting Up A new Dirted Plant Tank Episode 3: Improvement, Change and Eggs

The system continued to cycling with the same conditions but later I realized that the filter capacity is not sufficient for the volume of the tank and the flow rate is very low for the tank to cycle and create a proper current in the tank. So I bought a new external filter(Lifetech-838) with 1200 liters of pumping capacity per hour. I assume that the pumping capacity will be around 1000 liters because I bought a cheap one which will be enough for that moment.

I also decided to improve the filter media accordingly to improve the water quality more. The new filter has 4 buckets which i can fill with a larger volume of filter media. The previous one was having only 2 buckets with less volume. So I purchased 250ml of Seachem matrix, plus some lava stones, some additional cheaper ball like biological filter media and grain. I have added more ceramic rings and filled all the buckets with filter media and grain. The filter has some noise but not too much disturbing. Due I am using the filter in the cabinet I have no disturbance related with the noise. While comparing the price and performance it is really quite good and made the water crystal clear.

Days after I had another death, one of the rams died. I didn’t really understand the reason but I guess due to previous bad conditions the fish felt weak and died. I did not observe any symptom before it died. Except the fish seems a little weaker than the others when I first got them. I made an immediate water change just to be safe if the death is related with the water parameters. Normally I am doing the water changes regularly %30 percent and weekly.

In the following days (approx. 5-6 days) I recognized two of the rams are guarding a corner behind the overgrown rotala plants. First I thought they paired up but because of the available view point I can’t see if any fry or eggs exist or not. Later, during the water change I gently arranged the plants to have a window through the side glass for viewing the guarded corner. And yes, they were there, the pair has laid eggs to the corner just over the sand.

I followed the status daily than but it went bad and all eggs turned white, eaten by the pair after. I believe the reason is the not yet settled tank parameters and the place they laid the eggs (on the sand). Because my tank was just around 3 – 3,5 months old. After the failure on getting Ram fry, I put a pleco cube close to the corner where they laid the eggs before to be ready for the next spawning and not to risk the eggs getting infected by fungus again and started to wait.

During this period I decided to make some changes about the design and to remove all the parvulas. First time I removed half of the parvulas from one side of the tank. Then I ordered some flame moss, monte carlo, fissidens and pellia moss. They arrived in well condition but the amount is not too much to use them in design and also I did not decide yet the design. Most probably I will use some gnays stones and some drift wood covered with moss after growing and having more moss.

Additionally, I put one more clay cube replaced with the previous one and also put the previous one to the opposite corner. Then I removed all of the remaining parvulas out and trimmed some micra and rotala to proceed with changing design. Now it is time to let them grow and spread at the bottom more to get prepared to new design.

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